"censorship" entries

Four short links: 25 August 2014

Four short links: 25 August 2014

Digital Signs, Reverse Engineering Censorship, USB Protection, and Queue Software

  1. Greenscreen — Chromecast-based open source software for digital signs.
  2. Reverse Engineering Censorship in Chinese Cyberspace (PDF) — researchers create accounts and probe to see which things are blocked. Empirical transparency.
  3. USB CondomA protective barrier between your device and “juice-jacking” hackers.
  4. queues.io — long list of job queues, message queues, and other such implementations.
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Four short links: 11 July 2013

Four short links: 11 July 2013

Filmic Photogrammetry, Car APIs, Takedowns, and OpenCV for Processing

  1. Sifted — 7 minute animation set in a point cloud world, using photogrammetry in film-making. My brilliant cousin Ben wrote the software behind it. See this newspaper article and tv report for more.
  2. Vehicle Tech Out of Sync with Drivers’ DevicesFord Motor Co. has its own system. Apple Inc. is working with one set of automakers to design an interface that works better with its iPhone line. Some of the same car companies and others have joined the Car Connectivity Consortium, which is working with the major Android phone brands to develop a different interface. FFS. “… you are changing your phone every other year, and the top-of-mind apps are continuously changing.” That’s why Chevrolet, Mini and some other automakers are starting to offer screens that mirror apps from a smartphone.
  3. Incentives in Notice and Takedown (PDF) — findings summarised in Blocking and Removing Illegal Child Sexual Content: Analysis from a Technical and Legal Perspective: financial institutions seemed to be relatively successful at removing phishing websites while it took on average 150 times longer to remove child pornography.
  4. OpenCV for Processing (Github) — OpenCV for Processing is based on the official OpenCV Java bindings. Therefore, in addition to a suite of friendly functions for all the basics, you can also do anything that OpenCV can do. And a book from O’Reilly, and it’ll be CC-licensed. All is win. (via Greg Borenstein)
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Publishing News: Consequences and questions from the Twitter kerfuffle

Publishing News: Consequences and questions from the Twitter kerfuffle

Twitter suspends an account, Time Inc.'s new chief has a consumer plan, and ereader technology needs a "kick in the pants"

Here are a few stories that caught my attention in the publishing space this week.

20-20 hindsight

On Sunday, Twitter suspended British journalist Guy Adams’ account after he tweeted NBC executive Gary Zenkel’s email address. Much kerfuffle ensued, Adams wrote a letter to Twitter, Twitter’s general counsel Alex MacGillivray apologized for the way the situation was handled, and Adams’ account was reinstated.

Reviews in the aftermath were interesting. The account suspension ultimately had the opposite of the intended effect, pointing a spotlight at Adams’ tweet and garnering it far more attention than it likely would have had otherwise. Meghan Garber at The Atlantic put together a Topsy chart of the response to Adams’ tweet, which showed the response began as pretty much nothing and then exploded upon his account suspension.

Kashmir Hill at Forbes also reviewed the situation and the surrounding drama, and concluded that the biggest loser was the complainant, NBC: “Beyond having their exec’s email spread far and wide over the Internet, it’s reflected poorly on their stance on free speech and garnered much more negative press for them than they could have imagined when they first complained.”

Mathew Ingram at GigaOm took a look at the bigger picture and identified a serious issue raised by Twitter’s actions:

“… as it expands its media ambitions and does more curation and manual filtering of the kind it has been doing for NBC, Twitter is gradually transforming itself from a distributor of real-time information into a publisher of editorial content, and that could have serious legal ramifications.”

Ingram points out that Twitter isn’t interested in being a publisher or being seen as one, but notes the company is walking a fine line: “If the company is filtering and selecting messages, however, and possibly letting certain parties know when a legally questionable one shows up, that is much more like what publishers do …” Ingram’s post is this week’s recommended read — you can find it here.

Read more…

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Four short links: 27 July 2012

Four short links: 27 July 2012

Weibo cf Twitter, Rendering Fonts, Clothing Manufacturing, and Profiling Python

  1. Social Media in China (Fast Company) — fascinating interview with Tricia Wang. We often don’t think we have a lot to learn from tech companies outside of the U.S., but Twitter should look to Weibo for inspiration for what can be done. It’s like a mashup of Tumblr, Zynga, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s very picture-based, whereas Twitter is still very text-based. In Weibo, the pictures are right under each post, so you don’t have to make an extra click to view them. And people are using this in subversive ways. Whether you’re using algorithms to search text or actual people–and China has the largest cyber police force in the world—it’s much easier to censor text than images. So people are very subversive in hiding messages in pictures. These pictures are sometimes very different than what people are texting, or will often say a lot more than the actual text itself. (via Tricia Wang)
  2. A Treatise on Font Rasterisation With an Emphasis on Free Software (Freddie Witherden) — far more than you ever thought you wanted to know about how fonts are rendered. (via Thomas Fuchs)
  3. Softwear Automation — robots to make clothes, something which is surprisingly rare. (via Andrew McAfee)
  4. A Guide to Analyzing Python Performance — finding speed and memory problems in your Python code. With pretty pictures! (via Ian Kallen)
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Four short links: 20 July 2012

Four short links: 20 July 2012

Turning Drones, Censoring Cloud, Trolling for America, and Thinging the Internets

  1. Intercepted DronesThe demonstration of the near-disaster, led by Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the UTA’s Radionavigation Laboratory, points to a “gaping hole” in the US’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones, Fox noted: namely, drones can be turned into weapons, given the right equipment. Drones are AI for the physical world: disconnected agents, unsettling because they live in this uncanny valley of almost-independence. Military drones are doubly disconcerting. If von Clauswitz were around today, he’d say drones are the computation of politics by other means.
  2. Microsoft Censors Its Cloud Storage Service — upload porn, get your accounts (all your Microsoft accounts) frozen.
  3. Uncle Sam Wants You … to Troll (Wired) — Amanullah has a different view. You don’t necessarily need to deface the forums if you can troll them to the point where their most malign influences are neutralized.
  4. Wroblewski’s Theorem“Anything that can be connected to the Internet, will be.”
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Publishing News: Britannica isn't dead, it's digital

Publishing News: Britannica isn't dead, it's digital

A traditional publisher takes a bold digital step, copyright issues span sane to bizarre, and PayPal rescinds its role as censor.

Encyclopaedia Britannica unloads its print product, a Belgian copyright group wants libraries to pay for reading to children, and PayPal does a 180.

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Publishing News: The threat of censorship, from a non-government entity

Publishing News: The threat of censorship, from a non-government entity

PayPal is censoring, pirates are opportunities, and newspapers are doomed.

PayPal's demand on Smashwords is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Elsewhere, proposals to get publishers past piracy and a newspaper study reports grim results.

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Technology for Internet freedom and innovation at the State Department

Technology for Internet freedom and innovation at the State Department

A look at the role and goals of the U.S. Secretary of State's innovation advisor.

Alec J. Ross, the U.S. Secretary of State’s senior advisor for innovation, doesn’t want a tech strategy — he wants policy and change with a tech component. Read more about Ross’ role and his goals in this interview.

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Four short links: 30 April 2010

Four short links: 30 April 2010

BitTorrent Privacy, Censorship, Facebook Privacy, AV Programming

  1. Exploiting Privacy Threats in BitTorrent — INRIA researchers were able to identify big seeders and big downloaders and find downloaders’ IP addresses through Tor. (via Slashdot)
  2. Google on Internet Censorship — text of a speech to the UN Human Rights Council. I won’t talk at length about the Global Network Initiative, but it’s something that our company and Microsoft and Yahoo have come together with human rights groups to put together, and we have in essence written a code of conduct for how information technology companies should operate in repressive regimes. It’s quite complex, it took a long time to do, you can imagine what it was like to putting those people in a room for two years together, but we have succeeded.
  3. Facebook’s Privacy Timeline (EFF). Must read–little editorial needed, it speaks for itself.
  4. Cinder Ca new C++ framework created by The Barbarian Group for programming graphics, audio, video, networking, image processing and computational geometry. Cinder is cross-platform, and in general the exact same code works under Mac OS X, Windows and a growing list of other platforms — most recently the iPhone and iPad.
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Four short links: 9 March 2010

Four short links: 9 March 2010

Cooperation is Catching, 3D Visualisation Tool, News Dump, and Fighting Censorship

  1. Cooperative Behaviour Spreads Through a Group, But So Does Cheating (Not Exactly Rocket Science) — Fowler and Christakis suggest that people tend to mimic the actions of those they played with. They could be directly imitating the actions of other players, or they could be looking out for cues that tell them the ‘right’ or ‘normal’ way of behaving. Whether it’s specific actions or social norms that are spreading, the result is the same – a ripple effect that causes groups of people to act in similar ways. People copy the modeled behaviour that they see. This is why, when you start a new social site, you should seed it with people who behave the way that you wish newcomers to behave.
  2. Tulip — open source 3D visualisation software of large graphs, homepage here. (via hjl on Delicious)
  3. Six Months of Hacker News Front Page Data — half a million archived records from the Hacker News front page, captured every 15m.
  4. Internet Freedom: Beyond Circumvention (World Changing) — a very thought-provoking post that challenges the idea that all we need to do to help the citizens of (insert censored country here) is to have more people using Tor. I wonder whether we’re looking closely enough at the fundamental limitations of circumvention as a strategy and asking ourselves what we’re hoping internet freedom will do for users in closed societies. [...] o figure out how to promote internet freedom, I believe we need to start addressing the question: “How do we think the Internet changes closed societies?” In other words, do we have a “theory of change” behind our desire to ensure people in Iran, Burma, China, etc. can access the internet? Why do we believe this is a priority for the State Department or for public diplomacy as a whole? (via BoingBoing)
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